Fatwa

What does ‘family’ mean?

Introduction

 

“And wish not for the things in which Allah has made some of you to excel others [women, for example, are created feminine, whereas men are created manly. The Great Creator gave women and men different qualities and characteristics. That is their nature, and it would be unreasonable to change it]. For men there is reward for what they have earned, (and likewise) for women there is reward for what they have earned [i.e. men and women are absolutely equal before the Creator in the reward for their deeds and actions]. And ask Allah [o, men and women] of His bounty [to give you more than you have deserved]. Surely, Allah is Ever All-Knower of everything [He, the Lord of the Worlds, knows everything. Especially, as far as the best of His creatures – both men and women, are concerned]” (see: the Holy Qur’an, 4:32).

 

Part one

(the relationships between the members of a family, or the main principles of the family life[1])

 

The Holy Qur’an says:”Treat your wives with kindness, in accordance with the generally recognised norms (al-ma’ruf)[2]. If you dislike them[3], it may be that you dislike a thing through which Allah brings a great deal of good” (see: the Holy Qur’an, 4:19).

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There are three categories of people, whose namaz-prayers do not rise above their heads: (1) an imam who is not loved and honoured by his parishioners; (2) a wife who angered her husband and did not improve the situation till morning; (3) two brothers who broke off their relations”.[4]

  Also every man, the head of his family, should always remember the words of the Prophet:”The faith of the one who is the best in his character and behaviour will be the most complete. And the best among you are those who treat their wives in the best way”.[5] Imam ash-Shawkani[6] once noted: “This hadith obviously implies those husbands who possess great piety and who are really righteous. Unfortunately, we often meet men who are very polite and amiable towards strangers in the street, at work, and at the same time they are extremely rude and severe with the members of their own families. There is no doubt that such people are deprived of God’s blessing, they are those who have gone astray from the right path”.[7] This reproach concerns women as well, of course.

  The messenger of the Lord of the Worlds appealed to his listeners: “I admonish you to be kind to your wives. Be so!”[8] On the other hand, we know many ahadith that emphasize the importance of the obedience of the wife to her husband. For example: “If it was allowed to prostrate before somebody besides the Most High Creator, the wife should have prostrated before her husband”.[9] In other words such action is not admissible, but the wife should honour and respect her husband sincerily in order to maintain family harmony, for her husband, in his turn, takes care of her and protects her.

 

 

Part two

(being “a husband” and being “a wife”)

 

The Holy Qur’an reads as follows: “They [your wives] are a comfort to you as you [husbands] are to them”.[10]

In other words, husband and wife are a kind of “clothes” for each other: they take care of each other (they do not divulge family secrets, they give emotional support to each other, they also help each other to avoid committing such a great sin as adultery); husband and wife adorn, decorate each other (with their nobility, generosity, mutual attention, consideration; they are two parts of the whole).

The Prophet said:”Everyone of you is a governor (a protector) [at least, a person arranges his/her deeds and actions, controls his/her speech and behaviour]. A husband takes care of his family and he will be accounted for it [on the Day of Judgement]. A wife manages the house [she keeps the family hearth] and she will surely be accounted for it...”.[11]

 

Husband

The husband should treat his wife with tenderness and wisdom; he sholud take into account her weaknesses.[12] The husband must shoulder the responsibilty of providing the financial support of his family in accordance with his abilities.

 

Wife

The wife should obey[13] her husband. She should always bear in mind that the main burden of ensuring material prosperity, bearing the responsibilty towards the Lord, relatives and society, as well as maintaining a healthy atmosphere in family life lies on her husband’s shoulders.[14]

A vizier, being a distinguished official person in a state can and may give pieces of advice, and by no means an ultimatum to the governor who formulates and carries out foreign policy aiming at the state’s prosperity and welfare. At the same time the greatest wisdom of a ruler (provided he is aware of his vizier’s loyalty) consists in his ability to follow a reasonable piece of advice.

The husband should set a good example to his wife. His parents, local community or society can influence him or even criticize him. Whereas the wife keeps house and follows her husband.

It is more important for the wife to look after the house rather than to perform certain additional forms of religious practice (such as praying nafila namaz or observing an additional fast).[15]  

It is essential that husband and wife have the same opinion as far as those people who may visit them are concerned. The wife should consult her husband when inviting somebody into their house and consider his opinion on the matter.[16]   

If the wife shows certain disobedience or even rebelliousness[17] without any reason, her husband may stop supporting her financially.[18]

The following quotation from the Holy Qur’an is one of the fundamental principles in the system of rights and duties of spouses: “They [your wives] are a comfort to you as you [husbands] are to them”.[19] The husband and wife support and supplement each other.

 

Part three

(“admonish, sleep apart, beat...”)

Question: In what case may the husband beat his wife and does he have such right at all?

Answer: The meaning of the Qur’anic lines dealing with this issue is as follows:

“Men have authority[20] over women [they perform the function of peacekeepers, of leaders in their families, for a family as any other social structure needs to be guided by somebody who can be responsible for its welfare and peace]. [Men have authority over women] because Allah has made the one superior to the others [men are usually physically stronger and emotionally more reserved than women] and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient [to the Most High Creator and to their husbands], guard, keep family secrets[21], just as the Lord guards them [through charging their husbands with certain duties towards them]. If you [husbands, heads of the families] fear disobedience on the part of your wives [for example, if the wife does not keep house properly, or if she does not bring up the children well, or if she spends too much time talking over the phone; if the wife responds to her husband’s remarks with rude or offensive words], you should:

(1) admonish them, discuss with them the situation [appeal to her responsibility in keeping house, call for her piety and decency];

(2) [if it does not work[22]] sleep apart[23] [i.e. try to keep a certain distance from your wives],

(3) [if it does not work either] beat[24] them softly (spank them) [use your force in order to appeal to their conscience, as a last resort, as a measure that is usually  taken in the education of naughty children].[25] But if your wives are obedient, you [husbands] have no right to treat them unjustly, Verily, Allah, He is the Most High [in everything], He is Supreme [i.e. everything is in His power. His might is unlimited, He guards wives against oppression on the part of their husbands, He punishes the one who oppresses and abuses in accordance with His greatness and wisdom]” (see, the Holy Qur’an, 4:34).[26]

 

Qustion: What is meant under the Qur’anic word “wadribuuhunna”? Is there any practical explanation on this issue in the Prophet’s Sunnah?

Answer: Let us begin with a well-known and reliable fact that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) never beat[27] any of his wives.[28]

The maximum permissible degree of the application of the Qur’anic “beat them” was clearly and precisely stipulated by the Prophet Muhammad: “And [if you cannot find any other measure of settlement of a family conflict] beat them “darban ghayra mubarrih” (softly, and by no means severily)[29]” (the holy ahadith from al-Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmizhi and others).[30]

Muslim scholars relying on all the canonical information dealing with this issue agreed that such form of a positive influence on the wife was acceptable. At the same time they strongly recommended to avoid resorting to this practice, for it is unadvisable (makruh tahriman).[31] It should be also mentioned that it is strongly prohibited to beat one’s wife over the face.[32]

 It should be noted that at first the Prophet fully prohibited to beat women.[33] But then, after some time[34] the above mentioned ayah was revealed. According to this revelation it is admissible to beat one’s wife as a last resort to influence her positively.[35] And only positively! Scholars wrote about the inacceptability of beating if it causes mutual enmity, hatred. The obvious evidence of it is shown (1) by the behaviour of the Prophet himself (he never beat any person, except for the cases when he had to do it on the battlefield)[36]; (2) in the clear explanation of God’s Apostle – “(only) “with a hit which would not be cruel!” (if permissible at all); (3) Prophet Muhammad said:”The best (Muslims) from among you do not beat their wives!”[37]

It should be noted that such words as “man (husband) is not responsible for beating woman (wife)” have no canonical reliability (da’if).[38]

 

 

Part four

(the woman is similar to a rib)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:”Verily, the woman is similar to a rib! If you try to make it even, you will surely break it[39], but if you leave it [her] like this and take into account its [her] curvature, you will enjoy a happy family life”.[40] Scholars explained:”Every woman has a certain “curvature” of the character. It is impossible to improve it completely![41]At the same time if one neglects it, or leaves it without due attention, it may acquire “an ugly form”. But you should not be over diligent in making her “even” either, for her character is “fragile”. It is easy to break somebody’s spirit, to subdue a person. But such behaviour is inadmissible for a believer! “I admonish you to be kind towards your wives. Be so!” “Those who are the best in their prudence will have the most complete in faith. And the best ones from among you [o, men] are those who treat their wives in the best way”.

The hadith on the comparison of the woman to a rib calls upon husbands to use flattery and to coax their wifves into considering their will and opinion. The words of the Prophet call upon men to formulate a specific family policy and show such qualities as the ability to forgive and to exercise patience. Trying to improve something that is impossible to make even one can lose a friend and a close, reliable person in one’s wife. It is not a secret that both husband and wife stand in equal need of each other. The following saying of God’s Apostle stipulates one of the fundamental principles of a happy family life:”If you want your wife to be your second part, if you seek her support and help, and if you want your wife to supplement you just as you supplement her, show patience. Intolerance, severity and cruelty are inappropriate in this situation!”

The nature has been ordained with certain laws by the Lord Most High. The prophets  attracted our attention to these universal laws for our own good; they gave us wise advices and taught us to learn to coexist with something that we cannot change without losing harmony and the feeling of happiness.[42]

 

Part five

(what should a husband aspire to and what should a wife strive for)

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “This temporal world is something that man can acquire, use and enjoy. And the best that one can acquire in this world is a pious, righteous wife [and for a woman – a righteous, pious husband]”.[43] Husband and wife should try to be so for each other.

The Prophet was once asked:”What woman is the best [to marry]?” he answered:”The woman in whose presence her husband smiles[44], who is obedient to her husband both in request and order. And if he does not like something, she should treat it in the same way”.[45]

Husband and wife should also help each other to keep away from the eternal punishment in Hell. One of the main reasons of losing temporal welfare and eternal bliss is “kufranun’ni’ma” (ingratitude). The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) warned: “The majority of the dwellers of Hell are women”.

   “Why?” – asked his companions in perplexity.

   “For their ingratitude”, - answered the Prophet.

   “Were they ungrateful to Allah the Most High?” – specified they.

   “No, they were ungrateful to their husbands. A husband may take care of his wife for the whole life. And in the end his wife, after noticing something unpleasant in his character, may state:”I haven’t seen anything good from you!”[46]

This, of course, concerns also husbands and their gratitude to their wives who take care of them, keep house and supervise the upbringing of their children. At the same time, the prophetic statement containing a grain of God’s complete knowledge informs us that ingratitude is more typical of women, which will surely influence their position in the hereafter. In other words, the husband and wife should help and support each other  not only in everyday life matters[47]; they should also show delicacy in appealing to each other’s generosity and piety and help each other to eliminate (if necessary) certain flaws of their characters.

“A happy marriage is a building that needs to be constantly reconstructed”.[48] The spouses should guard their happy family life. They should not be led by whims, tiredness or weaknesses. May family ties be a Divine link between souls, without turning into rusty, heavy fetters!

 

Conclusion

The Prophet Muhammad mentioned certain socially important aspects of human life in the sermon of his farewell pilgrimage and addressed the believers with the following words:”Listen to me! I admonish you to be kind towards your wives. Be so! Women are guided by their husbands, and you [men] have no right to treat them harshly, except for the case if they commit something obviously sinful. And if they [your wives] commit something of the kind hit them softly (as an educational measure[49]), but not cruelly.[50] But if they obey you, do not offend them!

   Listen! They [wives] carry certain duties towards you [husbands]. One of their duties [along with other family duties] is - not to invite those people whom you would not like to see in your house. Whereas one of your duties is to support them financially”.[51]

 

Epilogue

“Your reason and feelings are the rudder and the sails of your sailing soul. If the rudder is broken and the sails are torn, you can do nothing but float or simply drift in the open sea. For the reason, if it rules alone (without feelings) is a limiting force; whereas feelings (emotions) without reason are a flame that burns itself”.[52]

 

A useful supplement

Many centuries ago imam al-Ghazali described human nature, the essence of man’s inner world, the components of his heart: “Human nature comprises four components that constitute four categories of qualities: predatory, bestial, satanic and divine”.[53]

When man is overcome with anger, he performs actions similar to those of predators, so he is guided by aggressiveness, hostility. Whereas when man is guided by passion and whim, he acquires animal or bestial features, such as avidity, voracity, blind obstinacy and lust. And through the manifestation and development of bestial and predatory features the satanic nature arises in man’s character and he resorts to most sophisticated forms of evil, aspiring for the set goals by means of insidiousness, deception, betrayal, requiting good with evil.

Every man has four natures: divine, satanic, predatory and bestial. They all coexist in his heart. One can imagine it as if four creatures lived in one man: a wise man, a devil, a dog and a pig. “A pig” means weaknesses, voracity, avidity. “A mad dog” or “a predator” means ferocity, malignancy, wildness. These “pig” and “mad dog” lead man through avidity to the lecherous and strongly blamed, and through ferocity and anger – to oppressing and hurting other people. Whereas the inner Satan arouses, activates the above-mentioned qualities, instigates “the pig” and “the mad dog” to sinful deeds.

The “wise man” is a likeness of reason. His duty consists of being wise and prudent. Through paying attention to him [the inner wise man] man can detect Satan’s traps before falling into them, suppress “the pig” and “chain up the dog”. But sometimes it very difficult to do so. In such cases a believer “sets the mad dog against the pig” and thus frustrates Satan’s plans. If man manages to analyze his inner world and to distinguish clearly between its components, his corporal realm acquires a single and wise governor and develops in the right way that was ordained by the Creator. Otherwise man will have to tolerate the avidity and voracity of his inner “pig”, listen to “the mad dog” barking and feel its bites on his heart. Satan will suppress man and instill great fear in him. Satan will make man feed the voracious “pig” and please “the mad dog”. Thus, man will worship “the pig” and “the dog”, in other words he will worship Satan, and not God.  

May it be in God’s will that we would govern ourselves by faith and wisdom and that we would not be guided by those sinful qualities that lie in us as a means of testing our forces, faith and piety. It is easy to say... May it be in God’s will that we would be able to properly manage our corporal states where the power would belong to “the wise man” and faith, and not to anarchists and voracious “pigs”.


[1] Family is the main human value. This is the opinion of 47 % of the participants of a  public opinion poll carried out by ROMIR Monitoring. And yet 29 % of the respondents place health on the first place. 11 % consider a material prosperity as the most important value. For 6 % love is the most precious treasure. Whereas 4 % of the respondents made their choice in favour of their friends. And only 2 % of the respondants put their job in the first place among the most precious values of their life.    

[2] The women, who are happy in their marriage, notoriously more often state that it is the official marriage that gives the woman self-confidence and creates the necessary prerequisites for a fully fledged education of children. An open relationship, according to the research conducted by RPRA, is not considered as legal. Only 16 % of the respondents, answering the question:”What form of family relations is the most appropriate for you?” – answered, that they prefered living together (cohabiting) without official marriage. Whereas the majority of the respondents – 72 % - believe that a true family can be created only in a lawful matrimony. The highest indicators of the women, who are happy in their family life, are shown among housewives (63%). For all this the women, who lead a prosperous and happy family life, more rarely than the women of other groups, regarded attractive appearances as the most important qualities of an ideal woman (42,5 % in comparison with 53,9 % of those who only plan to have a family). But they paid greater attention to such qualities as love for children ( 50,3 % as opposed to 39,6 %), practicalness and economy (40,1 % as compared to 34,4 %). Apparently, this change of the image of an ideal woman results from the experience of a happy marriage and the understanding of the fact how family roles are divided between its members and what is necessary for the maintenance of harmony in the family life.    

[3] Either man dislikes something in his wife or woman dislikes something in her husband.

[4] Hadith from Abu Umama; the holy ahadith from at-Tirmidzi. See, for example: at-Tirmidzi M. Sunan at-Tirmidzi [The ahadith collection of imam at-Tirmidzi]. Beirut: Ibn Hazm, 2002, p. 134, hadith ¹ 360, “hassan”; as-Suyuty J. Al-jami’ as-saghyr [The concise volume]. Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, 1990, p. 213, hadith ¹ 3517; Janan I. Hadith ansiklopedisy. Kutub sitte [The ahadith encyclopaedia. Six ahadith books]: 18 volumes, Istanbul: Ak cag, the 17th volume, p.21, ahadith ¹ 293-6280, “sahih”.

[5] Hadith from Abu Hurayra; the holy ahadith from Ahmad, at-Tirmidzi and Ibn Habban. See, for example: As-Suyuty J. al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 89, hadith ¹ 1441, “sahih”; ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-awtar [The achievement of the goals]: 8 volumes, Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, 1995, the 6th volume, p. 217, ahadith ¹ 2802, 2803.

[6] Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ash-Shawkani (1760-1834) – a Yemeni theologian, the judge (qadi) of the city San’a. The author of more than a hundred theological and scientific treatises.

[7] See: ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 218.

[8] Hadith from Abu Hurayra, the holy ahadith from al-Bukhari and Muslim. See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari [The revelaion of the Creator (for man in the understanding of the new) through the comments on the ahadith collection of al-Bukhari]: 18 volumes, Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, 2000, p. 314, hadith ¹ 5186, as well as p. 316; ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 216.

[9] Hadith from Kays ibn Sa’d; the holy ahadith from Abu Dawud and al-Hakim. See, for example: As-Suyuty J. al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 458, hadith ¹ 7482, “sahih”.

Several ahadith with the same meaning were transmitted by Abu Hurayra (the holy ahadith from at-Tirmidzi) and Anas ibn Malik (the holy ahadith from Ahmad). See, for example: Ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 218, ahadith ¹ 2806, 2807; at-Tirmidzi M. Sunan at-Tirmidzi. P. 360, hadith ¹ 1161, “hassan”.

[10] See: the Holy Qur’an, 2:187.

[11] Hadith from Ibn ‘Umar; the holy ahadith from al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidzi. See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 316, hadith ¹ 5188; p. 374, hadith ¹ 5200; as-Suyuty J. al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 396, hadith ¹ 6370, “sahih”.

[12]See, for example: as-Suyuty J. al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 129, hadith ¹ 2112, “sahih”.

[13]The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Every woman, who left this world and her husband was pleased with her (as his wife), will surely enter Paradise [with the mercy of the Lord of the Worlds]”. Hadith from Ummu Salama; the holy ahadith from Ibn Maja and at-Tirmidzi. See, for example: At-Tirmidzi M. Sunan at-Tirmidzi. P. 361, hadith ¹ 1163, “hassan”; ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 218, hadith ¹ 2804.

[14] It would be useful for every married woman to get familiar with the following reliable statement of the Prophet Muhammad: “A wife, who does not burden her husband in financial matters, is the greatest one in her piety and grace”. Hadith from ‘Aisha; the holy ahadith from Ahmad, al-Hakim and al-Bayhaqy. See, for example: As-Suyuty J.al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 76, hadith ¹ 1187, “sahih”; Ahmad ibn Hanbal Musnad [The ahadith collection]. Riyad: al-Afkar ad-dawliya, 1999, p. 1864, hadith ¹ 25632.

[15] See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 369.

[16] For more inforation see, for example:Al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 370.

[17] An interesting quotation from the Bible: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body”(Eph. 5:22-23).

[18] See, for example: al-Qurtubi M. al-Jami’ li ahkam al-Qur’an [The collection of the injunctions of the Qur’an]: 20 volumes, Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, 1988, the 5th volume, p. 114.

[19] See: the Holy Qur’an, 2:187.

[20] In the text of the Holy Scripture the word “qawwam” is used which is translated from Arabic as “the one who guards, protects, takes care; improves”. See: Ibn Manzur. Lissan al-‘arab [The language of Arabians]: 18 volumes, Beirut: Ihya at-turas al-‘arabi, 1993, the 11th volume, p. 355.

It means that “the husband, the head of the family” first of all should possess the above mentioned qualities in order to correspond to the divine nature of the family.

[21]The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The husband or wife, who divulged family secrets, revealed  his/her spouse’s  secrets, will be the worst in God’s insight on the Day of Judgement” (hadith fron Abu Sa’id; the holy ahadith from Muslim). See: as-Suyuty J. al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 150, hadith ¹ 2491, “sahih”; as-Sabuni M. Sawfa at-tafassir [The best from tafsirs]: 3 volumes, Cairo: as-Salam, 1996, p. 253.

There are certain specific family matters that concern, for example, health, intimate relations, business qualities, etc, which husband and wife discuss with each other. And if husband or wife divulges such family secret, it is regarded as a great sin that will disfigure the moral image of this person on the Day of Judgement, when he/she stands before God.

[22] Question: How should a Muslim behave in case if his wife does not obey him and does not observe religious injunctions? Answer: It is of major importance to show tact and delicacy for nobody can change immediately. Set a personal example of steadfastness and permanency in everything that is obligatory, talk to your wife and you may reach agreement. For more detail see: S. Alautdinov. He and She. Moscow, 2003, p. 94.

[23] Many theologians, among which was one of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions Ibn ‘Abbas, explained it as “sleeping with one’s back  turned to one’s wife without having any intimate relations”. Other scholars interpreted it as “avoiding any conversation with one’s wife”. See, for example: Ibn Kathir I. Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘azym [The comments on the Great Qur’an]: 4 volumes, Beirut: al-Hayr, 1993, the 1st volume, p. 466.

[24] “Wadribuuhunna” – hit them, beat them softly, spank them. See: H. Baranov The Arabic-Russian Dictionary: 2 volumes, Tashkent: Kamalak, 1994, the 1st volume, p. 446; al-Mu’jam al-‘arabi al-asasi [The Fundamental Explanatory Dictionary of the Arabic Language]. The Ministry of education, culture and sciences: Larousse, p. 767; The Concise Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language. Saint-Petersburg: Norint, 2000, p. 1283; Z. Alexandrova, The Dictionary of Synonims of the Russian Language, Moscow: Russian Language publishing house, 1995, p. 431, 454. 

[25] Naturally, this ayah means only those men who are husbands in the Muslim, Qur’anic sense of the word. Whereas those men, who are rude, cruel, who lack self-reserve, who have a weakness for alcohol, sigarettes, who commit adultery and do not fulfil their family duties, should be subject to a criminal or administrative prosecution themselves.

Question: I got to know from a reliable source that my beloved husband has intimate relations with his ex-girlfriend. We have been married for many years. We have a family, children, alhamduli-llah (thank God!). I tried to talk to my husbnad on this matter. But he denies everything. After reading the latest letter of this young woman I understand that she is waiting and hoping for him. She is not a Muslim and she has no respect for our family. Can you imagine, she invites him to her house and asks him to spend a night with her, she writes that she misses him?!

Question: I have been married for nearly 13 years, we have two children. They love their father and he loves them very much. But I strongly doubt that he observes at least one of the five pillars of Islam. He drinks a lot of alcohol. Besides he has a very complex and bad character. He lacks any kind of sympathy delicacy or consideration towards me. I used to hope that he would change. But now I am overcome with a feeling of utter despair.  

[26] For an explanation to the ayah see, for example: al-Qurtubi M. al-Jami’ li ahkyam al-Qur’an. The 5th volume, p. 112, 113; Ibn Kyassir I. Tafsir al-Qur’an al-‘azym. The 1st volume, p. 445, 446; as-Sabuni M. Sawfa at-tafassir. The 1st volume, p. 252-254.

[27] “There is a good example in Allah’s Apostle [for those who look to Allah]” (see: the Holy Qur’an, 33:21).

[28] The words of ‘Aisha, adduced in the ahadith collection of imam an-Nassai. See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 379; al-‘Ayni B. ‘Umda al-qari sharh sahih al-bukhari [A help to the reader. The comment on the ahadith collection of al-Bukhari]: 20 volumes, Egypt: Mustafa al-Babi, 1972, the 4th volume, p. 378; Ibn Maja M. Sunan [The ahadith collection]. Riyadh: al-Afkar ad-dawliya, 1999, p. 215, hadith ¹ 1984, “sahih”.

[29] “Darban gayra mubarrih” – with a hit that would not be cruel. See: H. Baranov, The Arabic-Russian Dictionary. The 1st volume, p. 53; al-Mu’jam al-‘arabi al-assassi. P. 143, 144.

  A great scholar imam al-Hasan al-Basri said: “The ayah stipulates the acceptability of a hit that does not leave any traces or bruises”. See: al-‘Ayni B. ‘Umda al-qari sharh sahih al-bukhari [A help to the reader. The comment on the ahadith collection of al-Bukhari]: 25 volumes, Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, 2001, the 20th volume, p. 272.

[30] See, for example: At-Tirmidzi M. Sunan at-Tirmidzi. P. 361, hadith ¹ 1165, “hassan, sahih”; al-Qurtubi M. al-Jami’ li ahkyam al-Qur’an. The 5th volume, p. 113; al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 377-379.

[31] See, for example: Al-‘Ayni B. ‘Umda al-kari sharh sahih al-bukhari: 25 volumes. The 20th volume, p. 272; al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 378.

[32] The Prophet Muhammad strongly emphasized:”... and do not beat (your wives)  over the face! Do not abuse them! [And if you sleep apart as an admonition] do not leave the house, stay at home!” See: Abu Dawud S. Sunan abi Dawud [The ahadith collection of Abu Dawud]. Riyad: al-Afkar ad-dawliya, 1999, p. 243, hadith ¹ 2142, “hassan, sahih”; p. 243, hadith ¹ 2143, “hassan, sahih”; p. 244, hadith ¹ 2144, “sahih”; al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 378.

[33] The holy ahadith collection from Ahmad, Abu Dawud, an-Nassai, Ibn MaJ, Ibn Habban and al-Hakim. See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 378; Abu Dawud S. Sunan abi Dawud. P. 244, hadith ¹ 2146, “sahih”; as-Suyuty J. Al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 581, hadith ¹ 9819, “sahih”.

[34] Such order is probably the most correct. See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 379.

[35] See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 379.

[36] See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 379.

[37] See, for example: Abu Dawud S. Sunan abi Dawud. P. 244, hadith ¹ 2146, “sahih”; Ibn Maja M. Sunan [The ahadith collection]. Riyadh: al-Afkar ad-dawliya, 1999, p. 215, hadith ¹ 1985, “hassan, sahih”.

[38] See, for example: Abu Dawud S. Sunan abi Dawud. P. 244, hadith ¹ 2147, “da’if”; Ibn Maja M. Sunan [The ahadith collection]. Riyad: al-Afkar ad-dawliya, 1999, p. 215, hadith ¹ 1986, “da’if”.

[39] One of reliable ahadith adduces an explanation:”If you try to make her even [obstinately and rudely], you will break her. And breaking her is equal to a divorce from her”. See: an-Nawawi Y. Sahih muslim bi sharh an-nawawi [The ahadith collection of imam Muslim with the comment of imam an-Nawawi]: 10 volumes, 18 parts, Beirut: al-Kutub al-‘ilmiya, the 5th volume, the 10th part, p. 57, hadith ¹ (1468) 59.

[40] Hadith from Abu Hurayra; the holy ahadith from Muslim, at-Tirmidzi and others. See: an-Nawawi Y. Sahih muslim bi sharh an-nawawi. The 5th volume, the 10th part, p. 56, hadith ¹ (1468) 65; at-Tirmidzi M. Sunan at-Tirmidzi. P. 370, hadith ¹ 1191; ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 216, hadith ¹ 2799.

See also: an-Nawawi Y. Sahih al-imam muslim [The abridged ahadith collection of imam Muslim]: 2 volumes, Cairo: as-Salyam, 1993, the 1st volume, p. 668, 669; al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 314, hadith ¹ 5186; as-Suyuty J. al-‘Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 129, ahadith ¹ 2111, “sahih”, 2112, “sahih”.

[41] See, for example: an-Nawawi Y. Sahih muslim bi sharh an-nawawi. The 5th volume, the 10th part, p. 57; ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 216.

[42] See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 316.

[43] Hadith from Ibn ‘Amr; the holy ahadith fom Muslim, Ahmad and an-Nassai. See: as-suyuty J. Al-Jami’ as-saghyr. P. 260, hadith ¹ 4279, “sahih”; an-Nawawi Y. Sahih muslim bi sharh an-nawawi. The 5th volume, the 10th part, p. 56, hadith ¹ (1467) 64; an-Nassai A. Sunan [The ahadith collection]. Riyadh: al-Afkar ad-dawliya, 1999, p. 342, hadith ¹ 3232, “sahih”.

[44] “In the heart of the one who aspires for beauty, she shines even more brightly, than in the eyes of the one who merely sees her”  (i.e. the husband may not only see his wife’s beauty, but also respond to her with a greater inner beauty).

[45] Hadith from Abu Hurayra; the holy ahadith from an-Nassai and Ahmad. See, for example: an-Nassai A. Sunan. P. 342, hadith ¹ 3231, “hassan, sahih”; as-San’ani M. Subul as-salyam [The ways of finding peace]: 4 volumes, Cairo: al-Hadith, 1994, the 3rd volume, p. 163.

[46] Hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas; the holy ahadith from al-Bukhari, Muslim and others. See, for example: al-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 11th volume, p. 372, hadith ¹ 5197; al-‘ayni B. ‘umda al-kari sharh sahih al-bukhari: 25 volumes. The 20th volume, p. 265, hadith ¹ 5197; the 1st volume, p. 318, hadith ¹ 29.

[47] The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to help his wives to keep house when he had spare time: he could milk a cow, mend clohes and shoes. See, for example: al-‘Ayni B. ‘Umda al-qari sharh sahih al-bukhari: 25 volumes. The 5th volume, p. 292, 293, hadith ¹ 676; a’-‘Askalani A. Fath al-bari bi sharh sahih al-bukhari. The 3rd volume, p. 207, hadith ¹ 676.

[48] André Maurois (1885-1967) – a diplomat, a professor and a biographer. He wrote one of the most interesting versions of Alexandre Dumas’s biographies.

[49] Exactly as an educational measure, but not as a burst of emotions, or manifestation of cruelty and rudeness, which is canonically inadmissible and sinful. See, for example: al-Qurtubi M. al-Jami’ li ahkam al-Qur’an. The 5th volume, p. 114.

[50] These words have been explained in a greater detail in the present article a little earlier.

[51] Hadith from ‘Amr ibn al-Ahwas; the holy ahadith from Ibn MaJ and at-Tirmidzi. See, for example: at-Tirmidzi M. Sunan at-Tirmidzi. P. 361, hadith ¹ 1165, “hassan sahih”; ash-Shawkani M. Neyl al-avtar. The 6th volume, p. 221, hadith ¹ 2810.

[52] Jebran Halil Jebran.

[53] See: Harun ‘A. Tahzib ihya ‘ulum ad-din [The abridged version of the book by imam al-Ghazali “The revival of the sciences on faith”. Cairo: at-Tawzi’ wa an-nashr al-islamiya, 1997, p. 295, 296.]

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